~ JOHN CASS, b. 23 Dec 1826 ~
Related Surnames - WICKHAM, KNIGHT, CROSBY, HILL, CLARK, BARRETT, KIZER
Among the earlier settlers of Jackson County, there is none more respected than John Cass,
the subject of this sketch, who has lived in this county since 1845, and is now living in
Monmouth. He was born in Upper Canada, near London, Dec. 23, 1826, and is a son of David
and Reba (Wickham) Cass, natives of the State of New York. They grew up in New York
State, married and moved to Canada, where the subject of this sketch was born. They then
returned to New York, and later again to Canada, and finally removed to Elkhart County,
Ind., where the mother died, leaving three children to mourn her loss, viz: John, of whom
we write; Stephen, now deceased; and Elizabeth, wife of Joseph Knight, now living in
From Indiana, David Cass, the father of our subject, accompanied by
his children came to Iowa, in 1839, and first settled in Clinton County. About one year
later they removed to La Salle County, Ill. At Ottawa, that State, the father was married
to Ann Crosby. This union was sanctified by the birth of two children, only one of whom
is now living, James, who is a resident of California.
The parental family remained in Illinois however, but a short time before returning to
Iowa, where they settled in Clinton County, near Wilton, being among the early settlers.
In 1845, they removed to this county, and settled in Brandon Township, where nine years
later, in 1854, the father died. Our subject was nineteen years old when the family
settled in Jackson County. Living on the farm and performing the duties of that life, his
educational advantages had been limited. He took up a claim in Jackson County, as the
country was still unimproved. In 1851, he married Orpha L. Hill, daughter of Reuben E.
and Sarah (Clark) Hill. She was born in Ticonderoga, N.Y., Feb 1, 1834.
After marriage our subject settled on section 31, Brandon Township, where he at that date
owned a claim. He resided there until 1884, during which time he had been successful, and
become the owner of about 500 acres of land. He had on his farm all the best
improvements, consisting of a stone house, a large barn, and one of the finest orchards in
the county. He was also successfully engaged in stock-raising, and during the last years
raised short-horn cattle.
In 1884, having acquired a considerable competency by his faithful perseverance and the
ever ready assistance of his wife, he removed to Monmouth to pass his later years in
retired life. To Mr. Cass and his wife was given a family of nine children: David C.,
the oldest, is now a resident of Valley Springs, Dak.; John Franklin, now of Calhoun
County, Iowa; Charles H., in Nebraska; Sarah E., now the wife of Henry Barrett, of
Nebraska; Reba, wife of Frank Kizer, also of Nebraska; Martha E., Joseph O., Elwood O.,
and Ulysses G. are at home.
Mrs. Cass' people came from New York to Iowa. Mr. Cass is now engaged as a money
loaner. A Republican, our subject is now serving his fifth term as Justice of the Peace,
which office he fills very acceptably.
("Portrait and Biographical Album of Jackson County, Iowa", originally published
in 1889, by the Chapman Brothers, of Chicago, Illinois.)